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When I was very much younger, I ran across some sort of profile test.

I don’t remember WHY I was taking the test, or WHO was going to see the results.  I don’t even remember WHAT the questions were – except for one.

“Are you among the first by whom the new is tried?”

Oh, how I yearned to put down “yes.”  My fingers ached as they squeezed the pencil, hovering over those little ovals.

If memory serves me right, I told the truth and filled in “no.”

It broke my heart.

EchoLately, I’ve been hearing about the AMAZON ECHO,  “Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It’s always on—just ask for information, music, news, weather, and more. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can pick Alexa or Amazon as your wake word. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.”

When you  visit the official web site, you will ache for one of these critters.

“Tucked under Echo’s light ring is an array of seven microphones. These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction. With enhanced noise cancellation, Echo can hear you ask a question even while it’s playing music. Echo uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When Echo detects the wake word, it lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where we leverage the power of Amazon Web Services to recognize and respond to your request.”

BUT WAIT!

There’s more.

Peter Moorhead of Forbes magazine warns, “What You Need To Consider Before Buying

” . . .  before you buy one, you really need to consider that the Echo is more about mining you, your friends and your family for deep insights than being an inexpensive speaker and answer genie.  Amazon is in the business of selling you everything you need from clothes to groceries to electronics to gifts and everything in-between. To do that better and more efficiently, they need to know more about you, your friends and your family. By knowing more about you, your friends, and your family, they can better suggest new things for you to buy, exactly when to serve the offer up and even the set the right pricing to increase the probability you say “yes”.”

Forbes then takes a list of typical questions you might ask your Echo, and what Amazon is learning about you in the process.  It is very enlightening.  The tasks seem simple, but are they completely innocent?

•Shopping lists:
•To do lists:
•Question and answers:
•News, weather:
•Set an alarm:

Moorhead warns Echo just might be, ” too self-serving and too invasive to privacy.” REVIEW FORBES ARTICLE HERE

REVIEW ECHO HERE

 

Will you be among the first?

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